Another start up in the floral industry is making waves this week with headlines like, “BloomNation Looks to Grow Floral Marketplace with 5.5 Million in Funding.” To the local florist, 5.5 million sounds very impressive but, for a nationwide company, it is just a drop in the bucket.
BloomNation is seeking the friendship of local florists through wire service bashing and promoting our artisan design work to consumers. The Beneva Solutions team dug a little deeper and here are some things we think you should consider…
Will their level of customer service align with your shop’s reputation?
Our investigators called the customer service line mid-morning on Wednesday and got an after-hours recording. Is this their norm?
Do you have professional images of your custom arrangements?
BloomNation’s business model spotlights engaging images, not your shop name. If you are competing against other florists for the sale, will a smartphone photo be enough?
How are listings organized?
Consumers are auto directed to a showcase of custom designs. Arrangements are not organized by price and shops images are clumped together. BloomNation states this is a free listing for florists, however how do you get your designs to show at the top of the results?
What happens when there are no shops listed in a specific area? Hmm…
Art’s Thoughts on BloomNation
Beneva Flowers & Gifts had a listing for two years and received one $20 order. As many of you know, I am always looking for new ways to promote my shop. No upfront cost was enticing, so my team created a listing. Was that worth the time it took to populate the listing? Not for us.
I am the first to support ANYONE who helps the industry grow, but bashing is unprofessional and not what we need; bringing truth to retailers IS what we need.
What I see here is funding to get florists on board and a pile of hidden fees in the near future. After all, their funding needs to be paid back. Will 10% per order turn a profit? NO WAY.
Nothing is really free. If companies want to eat a cost, they have to make it up somewhere else.
My team and I have no intention of bashing or hurting BloomNation in any way; however with 35 years of experience, which includes running a national company, I can’t help asking myself, “What are they thinking?”
Our only objective is to inform shops the best we can and to always look for ways we can all work together and succeed.
What do I promote?
I believe we should use the wire service as a TOOL to help our shops prosper.
Google: If you can’t find yourself, how will a customer?
Facebook: Participating in this social platform will build your credibility.
Apps: If you don’t understand how they work, learn ASAP or better yet, call us.
Networks: This is what we all need to work on. Learning together will protect us from companies that move quickly and use complicated jargon.
My Advice… Be careful and read the fine print.
We want to hear from you. Are you a current BloomNation member? Will you be joining BloomNation?